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Putting Canadian Piracy in Perspective

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the those-canuck-bandits-will-get-you dept.

Music 188

An anonymous reader writes "Over the past year Slashdot has pointed to many industry claims and governmental pressure over Canada piracy issues. Canadian law prof Michael Geist has produced Putting Canadian 'Piracy' in Perspective, a video that demonstrates how the claims are hugely exaggerated. For example, it shows how despite the MPAA's claim of movie piracy, Canada was the industry's fastest growing market last year. Similarly, while the recording industry says Canada is the world's top P2P country, the data shows that the Canadian music industry is experiencing record gains and that most of the decline from the major labels is due to retail pricing pressures."

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Yarr! Eh? (2, Funny)

darth_MALL (657218) | about 7 years ago | (#19843713)

Gimmer Yer Loot! If it's not too much trouble! Yarr! Sorry!

Re:Yarr! Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19843831)

Canada has a pissload of territorial waters, but almost no one navigates there because it's damn cold.

Re:Yarr! Eh? (1)

macdaddy357 (582412) | about 7 years ago | (#19845337)

They don't say Yarr, they say Eyyyyyh! Instead of scurvy dogs or scalawags, they call people "hoser".

Eyyyyyyh! I'll give ye hosers aboot one minute to surrender. We're keelhoulin' yer booty!

So ... in other words ... (5, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#19843727)

the media companies are lying to us.

That's a huge surprise.

Re:So ... in other words ... (4, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | about 7 years ago | (#19843835)

It might be lying or it might be delusion, it's probably both. The music giants are falling, but they don't understand why. They got rich running things a certain way, and they are still running things that way, but now they are losing money. They are desperate to find a reason for this that still allows for their huge paychecks. If they could charge $25 for a CD in 1997 why are people saying that's overpriced in 2007? It must be the pirates. if they aren't stealing the music why do they care if it's copy protected? They must be pirates.

Don't let the truth... (0)

gomiam (587421) | about 7 years ago | (#19843735)

...get in the way of a good story, or accusation in this case.

Re:Don't let the truth... (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 7 years ago | (#19844559)

Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story, or accusation in this case.
I'm not even sure what the parent post is alluding to.
Is he talking about:
A) "the truth" as told by the movie getting in the way of the **AA's accusations?
B) "the truth" as told by the **AA getting in the way of the movie's accusations?

Since when did vague, contextless comments count as +1 Interesting?
And by contextless I mean, 'what truth' and 'what facts support it'.

Re:Don't let the truth... (1)

gomiam (587421) | about 7 years ago | (#19844745)

...a video that demonstrates how the claims are hugely exaggerated...

I hope that snippet from the Slashdot article provides enough context.

Re:Don't let the truth... (1)

Atragon (711454) | about 7 years ago | (#19845073)

C) The getting in as told by the truth is the **AA's accusations of the movie.

</Captain Sparrow>

Tell that to Sam the Record Man (0, Redundant)

Futaba-chan (541818) | about 7 years ago | (#19843791)

That may be true, but Toronto's biggest retail music store just went out of business due to competition from online sales (iTunes) and from downloading. :-(

Yes, the RIAA and MPAA exaggerate just about everything... but that doesn't mean that everything is all roses north of the 49th parallel.

Re:Tell that to Sam the Record Man (3, Funny)

brennz (715237) | about 7 years ago | (#19843847)

Competition from online sales is not a piracy issue you cretin.

Re:Competition isn't piracy. (4, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | about 7 years ago | (#19844405)

Competition from online sales is not a piracy issue you cretin.

Absolutely true. The prices for music has continued to skyrocket in spite of competition for the entertainment dollar.

I graduated HS in 1975. I bought a few records, but very few because they were expensive. There are many things
to spend entertainment dollars on now besides a few records (CD's now) that didn't exist then. I do spend my money on these items instead of CD's.

1 Internet access
2 DVD's Sometimes 4 for $20!
3 Games, Game PC's & Upgrades E6700 Core 2 Duo Woo Hoo
4 High priced gas from 50 cents to 3 dollars
5 Day admission to State and Fedral Parks Now $5/day was free
6 MP3 player No longer stuck with radio station commercials all day
7 Camcorder
8 Digital Camera
9 Photo printer
10 GPS and associated Maps
11 Nice car

Somehow the music industry thinks their slice of my entertainment dollar won't shrink if they raise prices to cover lower sales volume? They added DRM & copy protection to make the product more valuable to me so I'll run
right out and buy a copy?? Yea Right!! DRM and copy protection reduces the value of their product. If I can't
load it on my media server to put on my MP3 player or stream in the house, I can't use their version of the CD. I look elsewhere. DRM increases piracy as the legit product doesn't work.

The only movie I have ever downloaded on P-P is Open Season. That was until I found I could call them and get a replacement DVD for my defective by design one. The extra copy protection is why I went elsewhere to load it on
the media server for the kids.

I was in Wal-Mart a few weeks ago. Just for grins I looked for Phantom of the Opera. I have heard many dirivative works including MIDI files and Karaoke files and decided to check it out. The CD for just the music in the US is over $30.. What are they smoking? London/dp/B00004YTY2 []
List price 37.98
In a nutshell, I bought Fiddler on the Roof DVD and Sound of Music DVD and Sister Act DVD instead with about the same money.

Re:Competition isn't piracy. (4, Interesting)

UncleTogie (1004853) | about 7 years ago | (#19844811)

If I can't load it on my media server to put on my MP3 player or stream in the house, I can't use their version of the CD.

I have the same CD/DVD usage problems, too, with one difference: I'm 70% deaf. I can't use their product in a normal stereo or DVD player at a level *I* can hear without drawing noise complaints from neighbors. However, they've decided for me that I can't watch/hear it on my PC with headphones. Why? Because they're worried Billy Jo Ray Jim Bob Roy is P2Ping his entire collection of bad porn, Rob Schneider movies, and 1970's country-western to the world...

In short: Wal-mart doesn't pat me down every time I leave their store, nor WILL they. RIAA's shooting themselves in the foot by mistakenly assuming I'm a criminal.

Re:Competition isn't piracy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19845195)

One would think they'd pay YOU to watch Sister Act...

Let's not forget the retail pressure from HMV (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19843857)

three doors down from Sam's either.

Tower (1)

phatvw (996438) | about 7 years ago | (#19844101)

Don't forget Tower records either.

Face it, Sam's sucked well before the IPod, Napster and the rest became popular.

Re:Tell that to Sam the Record Man (5, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 7 years ago | (#19843865)

Sorry if they have an outdated business model, but that doesn't mean people aren't buying the music and movies. Most people I know get their music from either iTunes or from Amazon or other online stores. It's much easier and often cheaper to get the stuff online. STRM closed because they have no more image with the young people of today. Their stores are few and far between, and they don't advertise to the people or even attempt to have their name known. HMV on the other hand has stores on every street corner, and has partnered with Amazon to give themselves a name in the online business. STRM failed to adapt and that is why they are closed, not because people aren't buying music.

Tubes (1)

pipingguy (566974) | about 7 years ago | (#19844161)

I'd been looking for a Tubes album for a couple of weeks and tried HMV and a few other stores. Most of these stores didn't even have a Tubes section, but I could special order only *some* of their discs (surprisingly, the price was only about $13, with a 6 week wait).

Eventually, on a lark, I dropped into a smaller store that I was sure wouldn't have it but I ending up getting what I wanted for seven bucks.

Oops, I figured that I should add this for the younger ones: The Tubes []

Re:Tubes (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19844349)

*Insert series of tubes joke here*

Re:Tubes (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 7 years ago | (#19844849)

That's a nice story grandpa... Anyway, you'll often find less popular or older stuff at smaller record stores. However, there's a lot of stuff that's at the big chains that you won't find at the smaller stores. International music and kids music comes to mind. Although you'll find your fair share of Barney on, most smaller record stores either specialize in something like classic rock or punk, that doesn't get any attention in the larger stores, and that people will go looking for. While smaller record stores are good for some things, there's a lot of things at the chain retailers that you'll never find in a smaller store.

Re:Tell that to Sam the Record Man (1)

agaznog (642529) | about 7 years ago | (#19844661)

Yeah, CastrTroy is spot on. Sam's was an icon to previous vinyl/cassette buying generations but they failed to evolve. It's sad that this Toronto landmark on the busiest retail strip along Yonge will soon dissappear, but unfortunately that's what it has become--a garish nostalgic symbol of yesteryear. I feel bad for the dedicated employees, but they should be pissed at their bosses for not running the business better.

I think it needs to be made clear... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | about 7 years ago | (#19845173)

Competition from iTunes and other online stores is good. We can allow newer forms of distribution to compete on equal terms, and hopefully the free market will spit out an amiable compromise between the two, at the price of some of the retailers.

Competition from illegal downloading is not good. There is no way that any music store (online or not) can compete with free works. If they were legal, and the free market worked as it usually does, eventually a huge majority of people would use it, and only a tiny minority would be able to resist the convenience and price in favour of morals. The artists and record companies would pretty much go broke.

Re:Tell that to Sam the Record Man (5, Informative)

sayfawa (1099071) | about 7 years ago | (#19843909)

Sam the Record Man was bought out years ago before this downloading hysteria. If I remember correctly, it almost went out of business then, but changed hands instead. The form it existed in for the past several years was a watered down version with much less selection. The initial downfall was not because of downloading, legal or otherwise.

Re:Tell that to Sam the Record Man (1)

aynoknman (1071612) | about 7 years ago | (#19844557)

Your sig says:

/. articles have the day of week, month, day of month, and time. But no year. How to find out the year? Thx.
It's accurate to within an average of a seven year period. Should be close enough. After all Columbus discovered America on Wednesday, October 12, 1498, didn't he. . . . Just a minute, I forgot the Gregorian-Julian shift. It must have been Monday, October 12, 1498.

Re:Tell that to Sam the Record Man (1)

sayfawa (1099071) | about 7 years ago | (#19844829)

I'm not sure I understand what you are saying, but my complaint is this: sometimes I'll see an old slashdot article where how relavent it is depends on the year it came out. Sometimes I look at the old ones in the 'hall of fame' just for fun, and would like to know what year I'm going back to for context.

Ha! and now, looking for examples of what I mean I've finally noticed that the date is in the actual URL for all the stories! That's embarrasing.

Re:Tell that to Sam the Record Man (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | about 7 years ago | (#19845335)

You can change the date/time format in your preferences, under "homepage".

Re:Tell that to Sam the Record Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19843911)

Toronto is 43 N, maybe that's why.

It's time to buyr Sam and move on (5, Insightful)

WebCowboy (196209) | about 7 years ago | (#19844079)

Selling media content on little plastic discs is obsolete and as such is a shrinking industry. When the pond gets smaller the fish must ether get smaller or some fish must die. That is just life.

Look what happened when computers with word processing software made typewriters obsolete. Should we have had our governments spend millions to prop up the Smith Coronas and Olivettis and Underwoods and enact legislation to restrict the use and functionality of word processing software, or put a tax on computer software to fund concessions for ailing typewriter companies? Of course not, that's a stupid idea and very backward thinking.

That is why Sam died--the "selling plastic discs with music on them" pond is slowly shrinking and Sam was a big old fish set in his ways. Other fish in the pond like HMV ate too much of Sam's food and Sam starved to death. That's just life. Some of those little fish will live on, eking out a modest existence in a little puddle and other fish will evolve into amphibians and hop into another bigger pond with fresher water.

The thing is, things in Canada ARE very rosy indeed relative to our southern neighbours. Our economy is more robust at the moment and demand for media content is obviously strong enough to support some kind of healthy music industry--it's just going to look different. Yes, Sam was an icon of sorts and it's never nice to see an old friend die...but it happened to other old names like Eaton's and the sky didn't fall.

Re:It's time to buyr Sam and move on (2, Funny)

Frohboy (78614) | about 7 years ago | (#19844511)

but it happened to other old names like Eaton's and the sky didn't fall.
Of course, Eaton's just went out of business because they kept mailing Maple Leafs jerseys to kids in small-town Quebec.

Re:It's time to buyr Sam and move on (1)

billcopc (196330) | about 7 years ago | (#19844755)

After the Nordiques folded, I wouldn't be surprised if there were more than a few Quebecers rooting for the Leafs. The Canadiens are a bunch of lazy marketroids that can't win a goddamned game when it matters, and the Senators always get to finals or semis and then replace their entire roster with chia pets. In contrast, the Leafs are fairly consistent and typically enjoyable to watch.

Re:It's time to buyr Sam and move on (1)

sayfawa (1099071) | about 7 years ago | (#19844899)

Just in case you didn't get the joke (I also often use any excuse to rant about sports teams that piss me off) the line was a reference to The Hockey Sweater. []

Re:It's time to buyr Sam and move on (1)

oldgeezer1954 (706420) | about 7 years ago | (#19844979)

"the Leafs are fairly consistent"

As a Leafs fan my whole life I have to agree with you completely.

Forty years of no Stanley Cup in my 53 years of living is consistent.

In terms of piracy, up until this past year I've never downloaded a single song and, as well, I've actively encouraged others to not do so (or encourage their kids not to do so).

If I average out my collection I purchased about 45-50 cd's per year once they hit the market. The reality is though that I've bought less than 10 in the past four years total. Some Nickelback, Theory of a Deadman... That's pretty much it.

I would have no problem with buying at my previous rates if there was content I wanted to have.

With that said I prefer music/concert dvd's now but ones I would like to have are still hard to find... May not ever exist for that matter.

I've downloaded the entire collection for three groups over the past year (it's legal here!) but I pretty much have them on either tape, vinyl or cd. There was one album of one group that I had on order from two different music chains for a number of months. I finally gave up and downloaded their catalog, the rest of which I had. A final note though is even the one I wanted to purchase I had previously bought three times on vinyl.

In short I don't doubt the industry may be hurting on some scale but they aren't providing products I want at least... Not even when they exist and I ask for them.

Re:Tell that to Sam the Record Man (3, Insightful)

FreeKill (1020271) | about 7 years ago | (#19844181)

The reason stores like Sam go out of business is because people aren't interested in paying insane prices for albums of mostly songs they will never listen to repeatedly. The old CD and Album model is out of date, and some stores that absolutely refuse to adapt are going to suffer as a result. The fact that in the face of competition Sam the Record Man couldn't compete has nothing to do with Piracy.

Re:Tell that to Sam the Record Man (2, Insightful)

slazzy (864185) | about 7 years ago | (#19844489)

Yup I think that's very true. I know I get tired of mainstream music after hearing the song on the radio 10 times I'm sick of it - no need to buy it or bother to download. Good indy music I'm willing to pay for and support the little guy.

Re:Tell that to Sam the Record Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19844287)

that doesn't mean that everything is all roses north of the 49th parallel.
I thought the 49th parallel is only the border on the west coast.

The East coast borders (like between New York and Ontario) fall lower than that. Toronto, for example, according to Wikipedia, is near the 43rd.

By the way, now that we've got geography worked out, your post is full of crap.

Re:Tell that to Sam the Record Man (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19844725)

You could easily blame the demise of STRM to places like Futureshop (Best Buy) who sell CDs for $10 just to get people into the store to wander around in front of huge markup items like TVs. There is a niche record store in Vancouver who specialize in classical music and they are doing extremely well. If you are STRM and think you can compete on PRICE with the big local merchants you are delusional.

Canada . . (5, Funny)

Chikenistheman (992447) | about 7 years ago | (#19843793)

. . . Living the American dream.

Re:Canada . . (1)

Adambomb (118938) | about 7 years ago | (#19843861)

I prefer our own dream where courts determine the value of damages when someone is sued and political asshattery gets you a pie in the face.

Re:Canada . . (5, Insightful)

phatvw (996438) | about 7 years ago | (#19844131)

I prefer the dream where the Prime Minister punches a reporter in the face and breaks his camera and the whole country cheers!

Wait... that really did happen. Man Canada is such a cool place!

Re:Canada . . (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19844763)

Which prime minister are you refering to? I can't find any references to a Canadian PM punching a reporter. The only remotely related thing I can find would be the British Deputy Prime Minister Prescott punching a reporter. He wasn't Canadian.

Re:Canada . . (4, Informative)

digidave (259925) | about 7 years ago | (#19845083)

Jean Chretien didn't punch anybody, he choked a protester. litics.fights/index.html []

Re:Canada . . (2)

phatvw (996438) | about 7 years ago | (#19845141)

Oh crap, you're right! I owe you +3 karma!
Seems like my mind is going to mush ever since heading down to Yank-controlled territory.

I do not know about you... (1)

megaditto (982598) | about 7 years ago | (#19844067)

...but I am worried that in 10-20 years my kids would have to sneak across the border to Canada to do "the jobs Canadians will not do," just to escape the excruciating poverty, violence, and corruption that I see growing stronger by the day in this 'Land of the Free' here.

Re:I do not know about you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19844533)

No need to worry. Canadians will probably buy Japanese robots to do those jobs.

Re:I do not know about you... (1)

sunwukong (412560) | about 7 years ago | (#19844681)

These robots will no longer be produced in Japan due to high labour costs, but instead will be made where the populace is routinely starved and beaten down by the ruling elite: the USA!

US geeks celebrate your assured high tech future relevence!

A bit offtopic (5, Interesting)

jawtheshark (198669) | about 7 years ago | (#19843819)

Years ago, I found my sister buying Audio CD-Rs. I asked her why she bought those to burn her music, after all a normal CD wouldn't make a difference and the Audio CD-Rs were more expensive due to the levy of the music industry. Turned out she didn't know that data CDs could be used to copy music. I explained her that the only reason Audio CD-Rs exist is for non-computer burners and that she pays a "tax" by buying those.

The reaction was: Hey, that's cool... because of this tax my pirating is legal

Now aside form how true that statement is, my sister is an actual music lover and now that she is employed, she is in the process of buying every single CD she copied (and liked, of course) in her student years. Did I mention that she's an audio engineer now?

Re:A bit offtopic (2, Informative)

Steve Newall (24926) | about 7 years ago | (#19844641)

I believe that audio CD-R's were more expensive simply because not so many were produced. There is a levy on ALL blank recording media sold in Canada

See [] for the list from copyright board of Canada.

Re:A bit offtopic (0)

BitZtream (692029) | about 7 years ago | (#19844789)

Audio CDRs cost more because the record industry got them taxed extra due to the claim that they facilitate pirating of music, the extra cost is returned to some music industry association. Audio CDRs only differ from data cdrs in the cost. There is no physical difference at all. Any data cdr will work in an 'audio' burner.

Re:A bit offtopic (1)

StillAnonymous (595680) | about 7 years ago | (#19845481)

Is this actually being paid out by manufacturers/importers? I ask because I keep seeing CD-R media for extremely low prices which makes this hard to believe. From the link you provided:

In fact, in volume terms, most CDs used to copy music are "ordinary" CD-Rs and CD-RWs (subject to a levy of 21c), not "Audio" products (subject to a levy of 77c).

But just a cursory look shows that you can buy CD-Rs [] for $0.264 each, meaning that they're actually selling these discs for 5.4 cents each, assuming that the levy has been passed onto you. Is this correct?

Finally we have proof (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 7 years ago | (#19843827)

Finally, we have proof. Ok, not really proof, but here's some data to back up what we've been saying all along. Piracy is not the opposite of a healthy media marketplace. It actually helps to improve the market place. Piracy gives people better access to media that they would otherwise not get to see. They see it, and sometimes buy a legitimate copy. Many times they don't buy a legit copy, but if they never knew about it in the first place, then you can guarantee that they aren't going to buy it.

Re:Finally we have proof (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about 7 years ago | (#19844995)

Piracy gives people better access to media that they would otherwise not get to see.

Assuming they're not just pirating the stuff they know and like, that is (most people are very conservative). IMO sites like Pandora are much better in this regard.

Many times they don't buy a legit copy, but if they never knew about it in the first place, then you can guarantee that they aren't going to buy it.

That's actually my argument against piracy: top 50 music, expensive full release films and television shows are heavily advertised already, to the point where you practically have to live in a cave to avoid them; mainstream media also accounts for the bulk of material on file sharing networks. I can watch Lost on free-to-air or cable, I can record it if I can't see it when broadcast or even buy the DVDs, so why do I need to be able to download it via any one of fifty P2P networks as well, and why should commercial production companies get free advertising using other people's resources? Independents who don't have distribution or big advertising budgets can certainly benefit from file sharing, but if they're releasing material onto P2P networks for free then it isn't piracy; viewed this way, legitimate file sharing equates to diversity, while piracy is just redundancy.

AYB oblig (0, Offtopic)

cstdenis (1118589) | about 7 years ago | (#19843895)

All your IP are belong to us

Exchange rates... (4, Interesting)

going_the_2Rpi_way (818355) | about 7 years ago | (#19843949)

Unfortunately I was unable to view the video at work, however it's worth noting for those that may not realize it that even a Canadian 'market' with no growth at all is probably almost 10% larger this year than last, when valued in U.S. dollars, by virtue of the change in exchange rates.

Re:Exchange rates... (1)

JebusIsLord (566856) | about 7 years ago | (#19845475)

Why is this rated funny? The CDN $ is literally 10% higher than it was 6 months ago.

Obligatory... (2, Funny)

Tarlus (1000874) | about 7 years ago | (#19843957)

Putting Canadian Piracy in Perspective
Yaaarrrrr, eh? *Runs away*

So what? (-1, Troll)

overshoot (39700) | about 7 years ago | (#19843977)

What has he done to help MPs get re-elected?

How many dinners has he bought?

How may hot babes has he brought to parties with the MPs?

Bottom line: who cares what he thinks?

Re:So what? (2, Informative)

Sigma 7 (266129) | about 7 years ago | (#19844203)

What has he done to help MPs get re-elected?
He's almost taking credit for preventing re-election of an MP, specifically Sam Bulte: ntent&task=view&id=1058&Itemid=89&nsub [] ntent&task=view&id=1080 [] nadian_.html []

A Public Relations Ploy (2, Informative)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | about 7 years ago | (#19844047)

It's all RIAA/MPAA-manufactured crap to convince shill politicians to pass pro-MPAA/RIAA laws. Here's a story published in Australia yesterday accusing it of the same thing: ike-us/2007/07/11/1183833529685.html []

China has the right idea. Keep a steamroller mothballed, ready to pull out for the bi-annual "Drive over some CDs" Show.

Record gains? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 7 years ago | (#19844115)

So this is why most of music releases are being overcompressed to the hilt. Producers are trying to match the Canadian records' gains!

Re:Record gains? (1)

billcopc (196330) | about 7 years ago | (#19844821)

Our bits go up to 11!

Killing the Goose (2, Insightful)

EEPROMS (889169) | about 7 years ago | (#19844125)

The record and movie industry in my view in their attempt to control "all culture" at the same time have basically been shooting themselves in the foot. Im a perfect example, I dont have time to listen to the radio anymore so I download podcasts then listen to them when I get the time. Thhe media companies have restricted music to such a degree on podcasts that I now dont have a clue what the latest music trends are. If your name or brand or your product isnt being hear or seen by the consumers your dead in the water. Im not surprised in any way that P2P downloads increase music sales because often people dont want to take a chance on a unknown band and fork out the inflated price for CD without some pre existing listening time.

Re:Killing the Goose (1)

billcopc (196330) | about 7 years ago | (#19844877)

No kidding... I actually keep on top of trends by watching what flys through the piracy cloud, thanks to release sites like NForce. I don't care to download them, because I have better things to amplify than some rap producer's mono-note and snare, but it's just about the most efficient way I can think of to watch the latest releases.

Online stores are too busy drumming up the hype, passed down to them from the MAFIAA itself. "What's Hot" is rarely an indicator of actual popularity and has far more to do with which product the cartels want to push at that particular point in time. The pirates don't care about these petty capitalist concepts, they just want to download EVERYTHING the very minute it becomes available.

I've lost count of the numerous products I've acquired because I heard about them through the warez vine. Software releases, hard-to-find albums, books, or anything else that's poorly promoted in this ADD-world.

Media Tax (2, Insightful)

Propaganda13 (312548) | about 7 years ago | (#19844167)

I thought Canadians were already paying media tax on blank media (cdr, hard drives, etc) to make up for piracy. In that case, you should be able to pirate in Canada. Otherwise, CRIAA is just making money off you for no reason.

Re:Media Tax (2, Informative)

phatvw (996438) | about 7 years ago | (#19844243)

Its actually a levy, not a tax. Tax implies a payment to the Government whereas a levy is a payment accepted by the government on behalf of a 3rd party. I know, its kinda dumb.

More info here: []

Re:Media Tax (1)

dufachi (973647) | about 7 years ago | (#19845039)

A rose by any other name...

You're still paying someone for the pleasure, regardless of who is actually the recipient of the funds.

Re:Media Tax (1)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | about 7 years ago | (#19844249)

"CRIAA is just making money off you for no reason" not if you keep your movies/music on USB keys, flash cards or hard drives, which aren't taxed (yet) you have to burn stuff to over-priced CD's to be a legal pirate in Canada.

Re:Media Tax (2, Informative)

FreeKill (1020271) | about 7 years ago | (#19844281)

It's true! The tax is something like $0.21 a CD/DVD and I believe that portable music players like ipods are also taxed. The tax rakes in a huge amount of cash too, something in the neighborhood of $150 million a year. That's equivalent to roughly $5.00 a year per Canadian citizen. I also believe the amount they take in is quite a bit more than the estimated losses due to piracy, but I am not 100% sure on that...

Re:Media Tax (1)

billcopc (196330) | about 7 years ago | (#19844937)

What's irritating is that this levy is artificially inflating the cost of blank media. Logically, if a spindle of 50 blank CDs costs me 15.99, but 10.50 of that is the levy, that means the actual disc would have cost 5.49 without the levy.

In practice, the price hasn't risen that much, it's the quality that has dramatically plummeted as disc manufacturers struggle to protect their sales volume and profits. It doesn't matter where the money goes, if you triple the price of a commodity, people will stop consuming it, so the factories do what they can to keep the retail price within the comfort zone, at the expense of the product's durability and reliability.

I'd like to see the disc manufacturers print information on the package about exactly how much money goes to the CPCC, in the hopes that it will bring attention to the scam and incite some of the more voracious among us to tell our MPs exactly how we feel about the issue. It's not like the levied funds get very far, with the many middlemen involved, each taking a cut for "administrative expenses".

I'm all about helping human beings, but corporations get no sympathy from me. I'd rather buy someone a round at the pub than give even a dollar to these bureaucracy machines.

Re:Media Tax (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | about 7 years ago | (#19844775)

Not hard drives, and not to make up for piracy: as compensation to the artists for the right to make private copies. You can't legally pirate music in Canada, but you can legally make copies for your own use. (Piracy would be making copies to sell.)

And CRIA doesn't get the levy (though its members get a small proportion of it). Mostly it goes to the artists' collectives, such as SOCAN, etc., and some proportion of it is eventually distributed to the artists.

Mod this redundant, because I've posted it before.

Canadian Piracy, eh? (1)

teebob21 (947095) | about 7 years ago | (#19844271)

I'm glad I RTFA this time around. I'm headed to Vancouver in a week, and I had been wondering what sort of measures I need to take against all these swashbuckling Canucks. Thankfully, it seems the problem is smaller than anticipated. Still, I wonder why the customs agent kept saying "Yarr..." during our phone conversation.

Canadian subsidies (4, Informative)

MushMouth (5650) | about 7 years ago | (#19844319)

Don't forget that canada has a whole lot of controls to make sure that the canadian musician gets more airplay, and has more subsidies than they do in the US (The government will sponsor your tour, and the radio must play X% canadian music). Sadly due to the polarization of the US culture such grants can't really be given. I can already hear the howling from the bible belt if someone like Stephan Merritt received a subsidy for 69 Love Songs, let alone someone like Ludicris, or from San Francisco if Amy Grant were granted cash for one of her bible records.
Also the current crop of Canadian musical talent/popularity (not necessarily the same thing) is higher than it has been at any time since Rush, Loverboy, and Gordon Lightfoot stopped making records (at least south of the border, I don't know what is going on North of it, other than everyone likes The Tragically Hip and Sloan).
Some bands that have taken off in the past few years include, but are not limited by (mostly of the "indie" variety, and in SF will sell out at least a 1000 seat venue)....
  • Arcade Fire (Currently HUGE, although not as canadian as they would like you to believe, as the main songwriter is from Texas, and they recorded their first record at his grandparents summer home in midcoast Maine, but they still qualify for subsidies)
  • Broken Social Scene (also include many of their side projects other than those listed below)
  • Feist (she is a part time member of above, and is currently selling out her US tour)
  • New Pornographers (also members A.C. Newman, and Destroyer)
  • Stars (big last summer)
  • Metric (big last summer)
  • The Dears
  • Wolf Parade
  • The Constantines
  • Death From Above 1979
  • Tegan and Sara
  • Nickleback (while I don't know what they sound like, they do seem to be on HDNet all the time)
    On top of that there are another slew of bands quite popular up there, (they can actually make a living playing music) that rarely make it down here.

Re:Canadian subsidies (1)

Durrok (912509) | about 7 years ago | (#19844861)

Thanks for the music suggestions, I'm going to go check and see what I can download. Don't worry, I'm not Canadian so I won't contribute to your hideous piracy rate. :p

Re:Canadian subsidies (1)

shma (863063) | about 7 years ago | (#19844931)

Arcade Fire (Currently HUGE, although not as canadian as they would like you to believe..)

You know, I'm not sure how it works in the US, but once someone moves to Canada, and lives in Canada, and marries a Canadian [] , we tend to treat them as if they were Canadians. Not to mention that most of the band is from Canada. Besides, you could easily make the same argument about the New Pornographers, seeing as vocalist Neko Case is from the US (she even has her own solo career [] ).

Sorry about the rant, but as a Canadian, I'm proud of our independent music and the success they've found. Not to mention I love or at least respect almost(see below) all the bands you've mentioned. You might want to check out some of the side projects. Emily Haines from metric has a solo career, Torquil Campbell from stars has another band (called Memphis), and Dan Boeckner from Wolf Parade just started a new project called the Handsome Furs.

On the other hand, our mainstream music is as crappy as the worst the US has to offer. Avoid Nickelback at all costs.

Re:Canadian subsidies (1)

billcopc (196330) | about 7 years ago | (#19844985)

Nickelback is what would happen if you took the guys from Creed/Alter Bridge, Staind, and 3 Doors Down... tossed them all in a blender, and poured the viscous heterogenous mixture into a pop-rock mold.

They're catchy, and they're disgustingly self-righteous. They also have only one sound, constantly recycled around different lyrics but it's all the same crap over and over.

It's not that Canada doesn't have good bands, it's that we don't overpromote them as much as the states. We just get stupid shopping mall promos and local TV contests, so many of the good acts never get known outside our borders.

Forget America being highly divided on music (1)

patio11 (857072) | about 7 years ago | (#19845287)

Some of us, quite sensibly, would wonder why the heck its the government's business that Avril Lavigne is getting less airplay than her corporate backers paid for. (Oh, these grants were supposed to be given to struggling small artists, as opposed to the folks who pay the lobbyists. Right. Sorry about that. OK, why the heck should the government support Working Mothers of Slamdancing Elephants? Its not like we are suffering a market failure of undersupply of music. There is plenty of it out there, for every taste, and we should let prospective producers concentrate on producing rather than concentrating on working the bureacracy to wheedle out extra airtime.)

Re:Forget America being highly divided on music (1)

kent_eh (543303) | about 7 years ago | (#19845367)

The reasoning behind the Canadian content rules for radio goes something like this:

If we don't do something to give our homegrown musicians some help being heard over the noise coming from south of the border, then they'll all starve.

Or something like that.

Back when these rules came in, there was no Canadian music industry. only Canadian branches of American music companies. Their job wasn't A&R. They were strictly about promoting the artists that they already had signed.
All the A&R was happening in New York, California, Nashville, and Memphis.

The government decided that if Canadians were ever going to be able to be professional musicians, then they needed a bit of help getting heard.

Given the long list of Canadian artists this thread is listing, it seems to have worked.

Canada No. 1? (4, Informative)

MikeHunt69 (695265) | about 7 years ago | (#19844427)

Canada is number 1 for piracy? Funny thing is, a couple of days ago the Australian media ran a story [] that ranks Britian 1st, Australia 2nd and the US is 3rd in online piracy. And I personally think that none of those countries could hold a candle to some of the eastern countries - china/thailand/etc. Maybe that's a new strategy!

Step 1 : Get the local media of each country to tell the people that they are the worst pirates in the world
Step 2 : ??
Step 3 : Profit!

More p2p in Canada please (2, Insightful)

future assassin (639396) | about 7 years ago | (#19844467)

>Similarly, while the recording industry says Canada is the world's top P2P country

Since I paid those starving musician wages when I purchased blank cd's to backup my photos and my server data I sure as hell will be downloading LEGALY all the music I find worth downloading.

Better music from people who *want* you to hear it (1)

Safiire Arrowny (596720) | about 7 years ago | (#19844495)

There is so much better music imo from independant and small labels and musicians that I don't have time to listen to or even consider buying almost anything from the companies that make up the RIAA.

There's an entire internet covering an entire planet of millions of talented musicians who would be ecstatic over the idea of you downloading their mp3s and listening to them completely for free.

I am going to stick with the people *want* me to hear their music.

Re:Better music from people who *want* you to hear (1)

MushMouth (5650) | about 7 years ago | (#19844553)

I hope you choose to download bands/musicians who make it totally clear that they want you to download their work and not "guessing" their intentions. (and claiming that their label forces their hand, that don't count, most of these guys still have a sampling, and are free to record stuff on their own dime for you to download)

Re:Better music from people who *want* you to hear (1)

Safiire Arrowny (596720) | about 7 years ago | (#19844591)

I actually spend a lot of time on sites dedicated to making music, and the musicians there regularly post what they have made, and so do I.

Re:Better music from people who *want* you to hear (1)

Safiire Arrowny (596720) | about 7 years ago | (#19844583)

I'm replying to myself here, but you have no idea how satisfying it is to really like a track, and be able to add that person to your friends list on some site, or write them an email telling them they kick ass and end up getting a grateful reply back.

Not every act can be small, and cost $10 if they have a million fans and put on an expensive and amazing show. An artist's ability to get big like that will grow as their fans and their career grows. This being 'discovered' or 'assembled' by the music industry, then loaned money to make a plastic disc no one wants anymore, and then exploited by a middle man who commodities their music, is fucking bullshit and it needs to stop.

I think we'll see current signed musicians and new independent musicians doing business for themselves in the future, the death of the album and it's often-times side effect filler music, and the death of commodity music pretty soon.

RIAA/MPAA maths prove Canada's "mass piracy"... (4, Funny)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | about 7 years ago | (#19844577)

We all know from past news stories that, according to RIAA/MPAA, having 4 32-speed CD burners actually equates to having 128 CD burners, so...

1. Population of the USA: 295,734,134 (July 2005 est. (CIA World Factbook)).

2. Population of Canada: 32,805,041 (July 2005 est. (CIA World Factbook)).

3. Ratio of Canadians to Americans: 1:9.015.

Therefore, according to standard RIAA/MPAA accounting practices, every act of Canadian piracy equates to over 9 acts of American piracy.

Now you know why they're so damned worried about Canadian file sharing...

Hey, wait a sec... (1)

58797A7A79 (795378) | about 7 years ago | (#19844629)

Isn't Canada one of those countries that has extra royalties that consumers pay when buying storage devices, because they can be used to store pirated data? If so, than they really shouldn't be going after software/music/movie pirates, because all Canadians have already paid the "piracy tax." If they're still going to go after them, then they'd better stop charging said royalties, because that's tantamount to fraud.

Who the hell... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19844663)

... does Michael Liberal Geist know on /. ... is it taco he's bribing??? ....

I see bread...where is the meat? (1)

gordgekko (574109) | about 7 years ago | (#19844671)

> For example, it shows how despite the MPAA's claim of movie piracy, Canada was the industry's fastest growing market last year. Similarly, while the recording industry says Canada is the world's top P2P country, the data shows that the Canadian music industry is experiencing record gains...

So how is any of this exclusive of each other? Canada could be experience a quickly growing market and rampant piracy and it could be the top P2P country while enjoying strong sales.

Re:I see bread...where is the meat? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 7 years ago | (#19844917)

Ah, but those are possibilities the RIAA REALLY doesn't want you to consider.

Powerpoint Alert (2, Funny)

pkulak (815640) | about 7 years ago | (#19844687)

Unless I get popcorn at my next meeting, that wasn't a "movie".

So what if we can't afford fancy hats? (1)

freezin fat guy (713417) | about 7 years ago | (#19844761)

Canadian piracy in perspective:

Two drunks in a canoe with a pet whisky jack perched on one shoulder, mooning the beach. I think we've proven that we deserve to be taken seriously.

Yarrrrg, Eh? (1)

Muckluck (759718) | about 7 years ago | (#19844865)

Coo Loo Coo Coo Coo Coo Cooo Cooooo... Me mateys. Avast ye hosers.

hypocrites I tell you (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19845047)


Why does the slashdot community continually support this criminal BS of pirating music and slamming more than the RIAA's tatics, but even their right to protect their intellectual property? When did theft become cool? Oh ya, I remember. From the first time I heard about it, I thought Napster's rampant copying and theft was not cool and revolutionary, but more like the punk ghetto kid who suddenly became popular with everyone - by selling drugs. It's ridiculous.

If you do not think that THEY have a right to keep you from copying and YOU have no right to copy, at least in the U.S. then perhaps you have forgotten that our most fundamental law states that Congress has the authority "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." YOUR interpretation of this is not relevant so I don't want to hear it. Only the Supreme Court's is, and if you have a problem with that, good luck with your constitutional amendment or revolution.

On the other hand, if you are going to advocate socialism, please be consistent. There are a lot of software developers here. How do you expect to make money if everyone copies your work? Are you going to make money on product support? Tell me, how much money have you spent on product support in the last few years?

If you have a problem with the RIAA's tactics, fine. I do not have a problem with the articles and the outrage. But what point is this article trying to make? It's easily refuted with one simple counterexample which is self evident: China.

The slashdot groupthink on this subject is off the charts. A lot of folks here could benefit from a realistic and balanced discussion that properly respects the right of others to protect their property and the right of government to implement public policy according to properly established authority as provided by the people.

Re:hypocrites I tell you (1)

arashi no garou (699761) | about 7 years ago | (#19845089)

I know, I know, feeding the troll and all...but I just had to jump on one thing:

...the punk ghetto kid who suddenly became popular with everyone - by selling drugs.

So you equate copyright infringement with a crime that gets people on both sides of the transaction killed? Seriously dude, no one died over a copied CD or DVD, but every day drug pushers and drug users die as a direct result of their illegal activity. What's that? They got what they deserved? Probably, but they are still human beings. I guess their lives mean nothing next to the RIAA members losing a few dollars though. Carry on with your crusade, Herr AC.

Re:hypocrites I tell you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19845245)

Ok, I was making a dramatic point to get some attention. However, I did not make a direct claim of equivalence between drug dealers who kill people and copyright violators. That is a straw man and selective reading argument. (And I strongly disagree with you for offtopic reasons - I support drug legalization.)

Call me a troll if you will, but my point was about the rule of law and stands firm.

Re:hypocrites I tell you (1)

Hucko (998827) | about 7 years ago | (#19845351)

On the other hand, if you are going to advocate socialism, please be consistent. There are a lot of software developers here. How do you expect to make money if everyone copies your work? Are you going to make money on product support? Tell me, how much money have you spent on product support in the last few years?
Ummm... you do realise you are talking to the people most likely to give the support? Sometimes they are even paid to do so?

The corporate groupthink on this subject is off the charts. A lot of folks out there could benefit from a realistic and balanced discussion that properly respects the right of consumers to use and distribute their legally obtained property any method they so choose.

Re:hypocrites I tell you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19845447)

"Ummm... you do realise you are talking to the people most likely to give the support? Sometimes they are even paid to do so?"

I have no idea what you are talking about here. The money they are paid most likely came from the payment for copyright protected commercial software ... so we should respect copyrights, right? Are you agreeing with me on my point or just pointing out that the audience won't be receptive? (BTW- I've been programming for 26 years, and I run on open source, so don't wait by the phone for that support call)

Perhaps you did not notice that the article was about Piracy, with the implication that it's not so bad. Thats what I have a problem with.

The artice was not about "the right of consumers to use and distribute their legally obtained property any method they so choose."

Nice Try.

On the other hand... (1)

macraig (621737) | about 7 years ago | (#19845059)

I saw a rip of Sicko in a torrent that was in Canadian PAL format. Do Americans rip in PAL?

Re:On the other hand... (1)

ergo98 (9391) | about 7 years ago | (#19845227)

I saw a rip of Sicko in a torrent that was in Canadian PAL format. Do Americans rip in PAL?

We use NTSC in Canada.

Here's a nice graph for your future reference. [] . Please print it and tape a copy to your monitor. Preferably in front of the screen.

Thank you.

Re:On the other hand... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 7 years ago | (#19845327)

Eh? Canadians also use Never Twice the Same Colour same as you. Your RIP must have been from Europe, SA or Aus.

Re:On the other hand... (1)

macraig (621737) | about 7 years ago | (#19845385)

Whoops, sorry guys, I'm just a stupid geo-centric American.
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